Dear Church Family,
I know that summer officially starts on June 20 but it never “feels” like summer until the first day of July. There isn’t any school overlap during this month (we ended at the beginning of June and start up the end of August). With Fourth of July parades (come on out to Oceanside, OR for the shortest parade in America!), vacations and Camp Meeting and just the feeling of slowing down a bit, it just feels like summer. And I hope that your summer is a good one this year!
Even the church feels like summer is here. A bit slower. A bit quieter. Yet, the needs of our hearts and the needs of our community never seem to slow down. Jesus encourages us to “rest for awhile”. But that rest is always a rest in the presence of God. From the book of Psalms, chapter 73, verses 25 – 28, we read, “Whom have I in heaven but You? I desire You more than anything on earth. My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; He is mine forever. Those who desert Him will perish, for You destroy those who abandon You. But as for me, how good it is to be near God! I have made the Sovereign Lord my shelter, and I will tell everyone about the wonderful things You do.”
This summer I would like to take a trip through book of Psalms and look at the Songs of Ascent. They are a unique group of Psalms found from 120 – 134. They were the song that the people of Israel sang as they journeyed up to Jerusalem for the yearly festivals. Mostly short song, like campfire songs that everyone would know without a hymnal. They carry many different themes and put together as a series are wonderful songs to learn on our journey to the New Jerusalem when Jesus returns.
As Adventists, we have always looked to Revelation 14:6-12 as the center of our understanding of the mission of our church just before Jesus returns (which is described by John in Revelation 14:14-20). The three angels messages are on our stained glass windows that illuminate our worship each week. It is in understanding these messages that we find hope for today. But it is Revelation 15 that we hear of the song we will be singing when Jesus comes again. It is called the song of Moses and the Lamb. “Great and marvelous are Your works, O Lord God, the Almighty. Just and true are Your ways, O King of the nations. Who will not fear You, Lord, and glorify your name? For You along are holy. All nations will come and worship before You, for Your righteous deeds have been revealed.” Revelation 15:3-3. It is perhaps the end time song of ascent!
Summer is a good time to learn a new song. I love the hymn from our hymnal #33, “Sing a New Song to the Lord”. “Sing a new song to the Lord, He to whom wonders belong. Rejoice in His triumph and tell of His power. O sing a new song to the Lord.”
Take some time this summer to get some rest. Read a good book. Spend time with family and friends. And maybe even learn a new song! We will try to do that together on Sabbath mornings. May God truly bless you as you sing His praise!
In His Matchless Love,
Tim Mayne, pastor